8 Ways to Outsmart the Instagram Algorithm | SMMSUMO
If you’ve been on Instagram recently, you’ll notice you probably haven’t received as many likes or comments as you did a year ago. When the Instagram algorithm was adjusted from chronological to algorithmic, many people worried engagement rates would drop.
Instagram’s own press release talked about favoring the moments you care about most, much like how Facebook’s algorithm operates.
So how does your brand stay present in users’ feeds without having to rely on ads? Luckily, there are some work arounds to get your Instagram posts visible.
Here are 14 ways you can make the Instagram algorithm work in your favor:
1. Frequently Post Instagram Stories
One way to get around the decrease in post engagement is to expand your posting in another area. Instagram Stories offer a variety of engagement opportunities, including the newest Poll feature. The algorithm takes into account all actions of engagement like replying to a Story or sending a Story to someone. The more engagement, the likelier your posts will show up in the feed.
2. Use Live Video
Much like the previous suggestion, Instagram Live videos are another way of engaging with your followers. The video is bumped up in the Stories feed and your followers might also receive a notification if they opted in.
3. Run a Contest
One surefire way of increasing your engagement is to run an Instagram contest on a regular basis. Consumers love free items and it creates a little goodwill in your fan community. The frequency and rewards can vary, but the idea is to increase engagement and brand awareness.
4. Post Engaging Captions
Captions that ask questions or provide a call to action can help start some conversations with your followers. But don’t stop at asking the question. Be sure to reply to comments and continue the conversation, otherwise, your followers might stop engaging.
5. Offer Free Advice or Information
Consumer education is one of the slower but more effective ways of building your brand. Offering information that’s useful for your fans can eventually turn them into paying customers. The advice can be posted on social media in small bites, in a blog post format and even in a newsletter.
6. Jump on Trends
Whether they are fleeting hashtag trends or making holiday posts, timeliness is an important factor in the Instagram algorithm. This is not to encourage you to participate in every viral meme. Instead, choose the ones that are most applicable to your brand and test a post out with it.
The Pokémon Go mobile game was a trend last year that took over social media. Brands offered Pokémon-themed deals, posted about catching a rare one and even advertised if they were near a gym. The trend was massive and was a great opportunity for brands to attract new customers.
7. Post During Active Hours
To increase your chances of higher engagement, schedule posts when your followers are most active. If you don’t have an idea yet, you can take a look at our post for best times to post on Instagram.
If you have a business account, you can see which days and times have the most engagement. Since brands differ, it may not be the same as our chart above. Using Sprout Social to schedule your Instagram posts makes it easy to post at the optimal time.
8. Join an Instagram Pod
This one may take a little more searching and organizing. The idea of an Instagram Pod is to let everyone in your group know when you’ve posted. Then ideally, everyone visits the post and likes it. The post receives a bump in engagement in the first hour it’s online and is interpreted as a good post by the algorithm
Instagram is constantly receiving adjustments in its algorithm, so it takes a little patience and flexibility to see what works best for you. We recommend using Instagram analytics and reports to easily summarize what’s working for you and what’s not.
Instagram reports come with handy statistics like your top influencers engaged and details on your top performing posts. The less you have to think about in compiling a report, the more time you have to dedicate to strategy.
Have any tips for engaging users on Instagram to beat the algorithm? Leave a comment below!
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